Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

The decision-making structure on either side by which

The roots of the word “Negotiation” can be
traced from the Roman word “Negotiatori”, meaning “to carry on
business”.1 It also derives from the
root words of Latin, “neg” meaning “not” and “optium” meaning “ease or
leisure”.2 Negotiation means
it is not leisure3,
but business which involves hard work.4 In modern times, a
negotiation is a process where two or more parties that share the same and
conflicting interests interact to reach an agreement.5 Their goal is to reach an
agreement which is preferably of mutual benefit.6 This definition is quite
similar to that of other scholars. Deresky in her book International
Management: Managing across Borders and Cultures: Text and Cases. 8th ed., p165
defines it as the process where at least two partners want to arrive at a
mutually acceptable agreement.7
The definitions agree with each other that there are two or more parties
involved who have the same goal of reaching a mutual agreement.

Negotiations occur in various situations which can be
of economic, social or political nature. Whether in politics or in business and
whether international or not, negotiations share universal characteristics
including:8 

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a.       Two
or more parties with (partly) conflicting interests

b.      A
common need for agreement because of an expected gain from such agreement

c.       An
initially undefined outcome

d.      A
means of communication between parties

e.       A
control and decision-making structure on either side by which negotiators are
linked to their superiors or their constituency.

Although negotiations have universal characteristics,
it has been proven that negotiating in one’s own culture can be complicated but
becomes even more complex when conducted across cultures.9

1 D.W.
Hendon, et al., Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations, Westport,
Quorum, 1996, p. 1.

2
D.W. Hendon, et al., Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations,
Westport, Quorum, 1996, p. 1.

3 W. Jordan, The Business of Antiques: How to Succeed
in the Antiques World, Iola, Krause Publications, a Division of F W Media,
Inc., 2012, p. 56.

4 D.W. Hendon, et
al., Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations, Westport, Quorum, 1996,
p. 1.

5
D.W. Hendon, et al., Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations,
Westport, Quorum, 1996, p. 1.

6
D.W. Hendon, et al., Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations,
Westport, Quorum, 1996, p. 1.

7  H. Deresky, International Management:
Managing across Borders and Cultures: Text and Cases. 8th ed., England,
Pearson, 2014, p. 165.

8 G.H. Hofstede, et
al., Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. McGraw-Hill, 2010, p. 399.            

9 D. Martin and P.
Herbig, “Negotiating Successfully in Cross-Cultural Situations.” Academy of
Marketing Studies Journal, vol. 2, no. 2, 1 July 1998.

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